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Cultural Morality: Comparative Analysis Between A Fine Balance And The Poisionwood Bible

1500 words - 6 pages

Cultural Morality
Comparative Analysis between A Fine Balance and the Poisionwood Bible

Cultural relativism really emphasizes the concept that each individual cultural belief differs from one societal class to another; in consequence, moral and ethical principles are related to what a certain culture perceives to be considered acceptable or unacceptable, right or wrong. Jack Donnelly, a teacher at the University of Denver, he states, "when internal and external judgments of a practice diverge," an uncontrollable rivalry, " cultural relativists give priority to be the internal judgements of a society" (89). Cultural relativism correlates with the idea that ones own personal religious belief is above anyone else's, thus, all beliefs in society should be assessed with the same principles that they themselves hold. Rohin Mistry, the author of the book A Fine Balance suggests that Muslims in India during the 1970's were discriminated upon, as Hindus they acted on their own religious beliefs trying to fix or turn "animals," into what they believe is proper, in an ethnocentric manner. It can be stated that the majority of the Hindus did not attempt to accept Muslims because of their religion during this period of time; consequently the the people of Islam living in India faced hatred and were almost entirely wiped out of India. Mistry focuses depicts Ishvar and Omprakash's relationships as only a smaller portion of what most Muslims went through during the 70's. Barbra Kingsolver, the author of the novel The Poisonwood Bible also discovers a parallel when discussing the methods in which Western society encounters unfamiliar foreign countries. Kingsolver creates an allegory where the Price family and the people of the Congo exemplify America's relationship with foreign countries. She proposes that the pursuit of America to transform something they do not recognize can be destructive; the pursuit to spread a moral or religious belief becomes the most immoral idea of all as it results in deterioration.
Paula Smith, a journalist for CNN talks about Kingsolver, "Kingsolver has a highly politicized agenda in The Poisonwood Bible. She critiques European and American imperialist policies toward Africa, oppressive patriarchal attitudes toward women, racial oppression in the American Sourh, and alienation cultural assumptions about disabled people." Her usage of Nathan and his family symbolizes the western world as she deploys her political agenda. Nathan Price; the father of the Price family, exhibits an extreme part of the arrogance and the ethnocentrism of America. As the dictator of the family, he represents the American government. His family clearly shows they do not want to stay in the Congo but yet he idiotically refuses similarly to an American government that is purposefully blind to its own corruption. Smith also says, "Price's extreme obsession, which leads eventually to abandoning his family, to insanity or at least insane behaviour, and death...

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